As you decide to move on with a heavy heart, you notice that your ex seems unfazed. When you finally make some progress privately, that’s when he shows signs of crumbling. You’re probably wondering why breakups hit guys later. Why does it take so long for some men to know what they’ve lost? Are they heartless? Decoding the reasons for the ‘why breakups hit guys later’ dilemma may leave you firing blanks, and that’s where we come in.
When he’s not reacting to the breakup in the way you hoped he would, it may start to seem like he never loved you at all. How guys feel after a relationship ends is a bit of a mystery. When you are locked in your room, depressed, with a large tub of ice cream, your ex is probably out there hanging with the boys. However, it’s important to note that everyone has a different way of dealing with numbing pain, so they can survive the next day with a smile.
So, why do breakups hurt guys later after all? They can’t be that cold-hearted to not be affected by a terrible separation. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions regarding men and breakups. Today we answer the most burning questions that people have regarding how men feel after their partner leaves, and we’ll clear a few of the prevalent misconceptions as well.
Why Do Breakups Hit Guys Later? Exploring The Reasons
Janine, a reader, told us, “Men and breakups, these words together are a puzzle. Guys’ behavior after a breakup has always baffled me. One of my exes decided it’d be best to immediately hit on my friends, and then apologize to me about it a month later, begging for me to come back. Another one acted so cold and heartless when I knew he was the warmest person I’d ever met.
“He tried to act nonchalant, putting on a show on his Instagram. When his denial eventually caught up with him, he needed a lot more closure than I thought he would. In most situations that I’ve been through, I’ve noticed that guys disappear after a breakup. They would come back once they comprehend they can’t fight their feelings anymore, saying, “You know how breakups hit me months later. Up until today, I didn’t realize what I was letting go of. Is there any way we can work it out?”
“I was surprised. I don’t understand, why do breakups hit guys later like this?” Well, it’s not like guys take ages to realize a relationship has ended. A breakup would hit a guy immediately, but he just doesn’t let it break him. That, in effect, only delays the time of healing.
When you think about it, everyone has two choices after a breakup. They can wallow in sadness and reminisce about the good times they had, or they can work on their lives and focus on things that are important to them. In most cases, men usually choose the latter. As a result, this does make it seem that they do not care about the breakup. However, it is quite unfair to guys when the world confuses being single and keeping busy with emotional apathy.
Related Reading: How Soon Can You Start Dating Again After a Breakup?
Many people reading this might disagree, saying, “Wait, that’s not what happened to me. He called me months after we broke up, telling me how much he misses me.” That’s not because the breakup just hit him, it’s because the feelings he had been avoiding have caught up to him. Men, just like anyone else, like to be in relationships.
They like the intimacy and they certainly like the fact that they can trust someone with their most personal thoughts. A lot of the times, when a guy calls up an ex like this, it is because they really miss being in a relationship, they miss trusting someone and they hate the fact that they lost someone that meant so much to them.
In some cases, the guy misses a relationship more than the person he was in a relationship with. The ex at this point is just someone who he is familiar with. With whom he shared an intense comfort level. It is important to remember that just because someone acts on emotions after a particular amount of time does not mean that they felt nothing up until that point.
So, why do breakups hurt guys later? In most cases, it’s the result of them trying to push their feelings down. Once they’ve accepted the breakup, most will try to put on a brave face since constantly pining for an ex displays weakness, and men have been conditioned to avoid portrayal of weakness at all costs.
Do Guys Hurt After Dumping You?
The short answer is yes. It is natural to miss someone. Once you attain a certain level of trust, kinship, and intimacy with someone, losing them is painful. How much a guy hurts after a breakup cannot be said though. Different men have different emotional needs and thresholds.
The long answer to “Why do breakups hit guys later?” is this: When it comes to the dating scene, even in today’s more enlightened and, thankfully, slightly less sexist times, the pressure to ask someone out for the first time still primarily falls on the man. And more often than not, men are rejected. In other words, they’re left with a broken heart.
That is just statistics; the more people you ask out, the higher the rejection rate keeps getting. As such, it isn’t that guys don’t get hurt after a breakup, it is just that they have far more experience dealing with heartbreak and are proficient at masking the pain and finding sensible ways to deal with rejection. After all, how much time should one really spend in mourning the loss of the person they like?
Men cry too but most also understand that they can’t keep crying. Is it not better to try to get over the pain and move forward in life? If you’re wondering why guys go cold after a breakup, it’s because they’re trying to numb their own emotions in an attempt to move past this setback. Do guys hurt after dumping you? Yes, even if it’s him who decided to end the relationship, he still hurts.
Chances are unless you were manipulative, abusive, or toxic in the relationship, the guy will hurt after dumping you. In fact, there’s a lot of pain after getting out of an abusive relationship too. It’s just that they are not so good at expressing those sentiments. When a woman is suffering from breakup pangs, she has her best friend’s company to vent her feelings to or someone’s shoulder to cry on. Men usually have a weaker support system, so, when they are going through a breakup, they are mostly on their own to deal with the intense emotions.
Related Reading: 21 Signs Of Lack Of Respect In A Relationship
Guys hurt after a breakup too. It doesn’t matter if they are being dumped or are doing the dumping, and they will hurt because they know they hurt you. In some cases, the incapability of sharing their emotions can often make things worse for them. Do guys talk to their friends about breakups? In most cases, they find it extremely difficult to open up.
If a guy is dumping you, it is because he feels that you are not willing to put in as much work into the relationship as he is, or he isn’t interested in you romantically anymore for various reasons. Either way, the guy now has a very difficult task ahead of him. He has to tell the person he cares about that they are not compatible with him anymore.
One person has judged the other to be unworthy of their time. Think about all the white lies you have ever told someone because you did not want to hurt them. Now imagine someone with whom you shared profound quality time, and imagine telling them that they are not right for you. At that point, there is no way to avoid the hurt. The guilt of hurting them is enough to hurt you as well.
Do Guys Move On Faster After A Breakup?
This is a tricky question because there can be no absolute answers here. Do guys move on faster after a breakup? Well, not only does it depend on the guy, but also how important you were to his life. Both of these determine how quickly a man can move on after a breakup. One of the main reasons that people ask this question along with the ‘why do breakups hit guys later’ question is the prevalence of rebound culture.
People swing from one physical relationship to the next in a relatively short amount of time, rarely saying anything that makes them vulnerable or sharing a real connection. Episodes of random sex after a breakup are often highlighted. This has caused many misconceptions. The most common among them being that breakups hit guys later, and second, that guys move on faster after a breakup.
How guys behave after the breakup is actually summed up in these two statements. This is not to say that rebounds are always wrong. That serves an irreplaceable function in society. But it cannot be denied that the acceptance of rebound culture has made it impossible to tell when someone is truly over their ex. Since rebounds have been normalized, guys get into a new relationship without dealing with the residual feelings from the previous breakup.
This doesn’t mean that the man avoids dealing with his emotions in a healthy way, only that the process is delayed. Healing from a breakup takes its due course, for every person. A man can move on rather quickly if he is emotionally stable, knows what he brings to the table in a relationship, and believes that his ex is not willing to put in as much effort as he is.
So quickly, in fact, that the ex might wonder, “Does he think about me after he dumped me or were we in a fake relationship all along?” However if the ex was a very important part of this man’s life, it could take a long time for him to move on. So, do guys take longer to get over a breakup? The reality is that it completely depends on the state of mind the man is in and the kind of relationship he had with you.
If you’re reading this article and trying to understand what’s going on in your ex’s mind, it’s best to ask him. The way he talks to you will also tell you everything you need to know. If he asks for closure, know that he’s struggling, but at least he’s on the right path. If he’s trying to act too nonchalant, maybe he’s still in the suppressing stage.
Related Reading: Making Peace With Your Past – 13 Wise Tips
How long does it take for a breakup to sink in for a guy?
How long does it take for a breakup to sink in for a guy? The question of how long it takes for a man to get over a breakup and heal from it cannot be addressed without taking this question into consideration first. Again, there is no single criterion to determine the time it takes for a man to let a breakup sink in and process the feelings that come in its wake.
Guys take longer to process a breakup. He can either immediately accept what has happened, brood over it for some time, and get on with this life. Or a part of him can stay hooked on to the lost relationship for years to come, leaving him unable to move on. For some, it may take somewhere between 3.5 months to 6 months to completely move on.
And then, there are guys like Joey Tribbiani who don’t take more than a shower to get over an ex-partner. How guys feel after they break up with their partner depends entirely on how emotionally invested they are in the relationship. Take the story of Joy and Chris, for example. The two met in college and after about 6 months of him trying to woo her, a heady romance took shape.
They dated for five years and were thinking of taking the relationship to the next level. That they’d end up together seemed like a forgone conclusion. However, Joy had to move to a different city for work and Chris started spending an awful lot of his time drinking. Once inebriated, he’d start accusing her of not giving time to the relationship, saying he saw signs she was cheating and treating him like a loser.
Needless to say, this took a toll on the relationship they thought was immune to any damage. Joy called it off and moved on a little too quickly for Chris’ liking. For 10 years afterward, he’d keep shooting drunk texts, emails, and even a few calls in the middle of the night intermittently to reminisce about old times or blame her for breaking his heart. The fact that they were both married with children notwithstanding.
It took a rather uncomfortable conversation between Joy and Chris’ wife for this pattern to stop. In his case, it was not the case of a breakup hitting a guy later but him not being able to come to terms with it. So, to answer the ‘how long does it take for a breakup to sink in for a guy?’ question, it can even take a decade if the guy is in denial. Some guys break up with someone they love when they are stressed and later regret hurting their partner.
It all boils down to one’s ability to process difficult emotions and let go of the past. As you can probably tell by now, the answer to questions like “Why do breakups hit guys later?” or “Do guys take longer to get over a breakup?” are very subjective. They change from person to person, and from situation to situation. Although, one thing is constant. In most cases, guys feel sad after a breakup.
However, it’s true that for the most part, guys’ behavior after a breakup is to be blamed for them taking more time than normal to get over it. They try to push their feelings down to move ahead in life. As they realize a couple of months down the line, they simply cannot ignore the demons of the past. The demons find a way to affect their lives in new ways.
Related Reading: 25 Most Common Relationship Problems
Do Guys Feel Bad After A Breakup?
Of course, guys feel bad after a breakup. Always. If a man is dumped, he would feel bad because he is no longer close to the person he once cherished. Whatever reason he may have been given would still have the same message, that he is not good enough. He would feel judged and at some level, his pride would be wounded.
Even if the relationship wasn’t very important to him, he can no longer be as close or open with someone whose company he enjoyed. He feels the need to erase memories that are dear to him. His perception of himself could have changed and that brings its own share of negative emotions. He may even feel as if he has let his partner down which would bring about feelings of guilt. It isn’t just pride and vanity that causes guys to feel bad after a breakup.
When a guy’s heart is broken by his partner, in all probability, the breakup will hit him immediately. It becomes harder on him if he sees them move on too soon after the split. He can get either obsessed with winning them back – going through the whole begging and crying episode. Or, he might resort to no contact to deal with the hurt and pain.
Sometimes guys break up with someone they love when they are stressed out or afraid of commitment. If the man decides to dump his partner, he then has the task of telling someone he cares for that they can no longer be together. It is his responsibility to be as earnest as possible but he would want to do it in the least hurtful manner.
However breakups are always painful, you’re either getting hurt or hurting someone you care about. Neither situation brings joy to a person. And some people take breakups harder than others. He may even have a hard time justifying the breakup to himself at times, wondering if he made the right choice.
He would look back and start thinking of something he could have handled better, and then feel guilty for not thinking of it sooner. Anyone who has ever dumped someone and been dumped by someone can attest to the fact that both situations make you feel bad in their own ways. So, if you are wondering, “Does he think about me after he dumped me?”, the answer is yes. Breaking up with you was not exactly a joyride for him either.
Why do guys regret breaking up with a girl later on? It could be because they couldn’t justify the breakup in their own minds or maybe they were just running away from acknowledging what they were feeling. Something similar happened to Clark with his ex-boyfriend, “He tried to appear so cold and heartless, I started to wonder if he ever even loved me during our 3-year-long relationship. We work at the same place, so I’d see him thriving with his work buddies when I felt miserable.
“It was only when one of his friends came to me and told me that he’s not doing great when I realized how much pain he had been harboring. Why do guys go cold after a breakup is something I’ll never understand. He told his friends he regrets not opening up to anyone about it.”
Do guys talk to their friends about breakups? That’s another big issue that men face in their lives. Most of their relationships do not have the maturity to sustain such a conversation and they find themselves incapable of opening up to anyone as a result. Because of this, guys disappear after a breakup and try to deal with their hurt themselves.
Related Reading: How To Know When A Relationship Is Over? 25 Signs That Indicate So
Why do guys feel the breakup later?
When a relationship ends, both partners make a conscious decision to go their separate ways. Then, why do guys feel the breakup later? The answer to this question lies in a tendency to bottle up one’s feelings. Even in this age and day, guys don’t feel comfortable owning up to their tender emotions. Opening up about their feelings doesn’t come easy to everyone.
The image of toxic masculinity is too deeply imprinted in their minds. We live in a society where “Don’t cry like a girl” is supposed to be a motivational statement to tell a sensitive guy to ‘man up’. Then, do guys hurt after dumping you despite the conditioning? Most certainly, they do. But faking it and acting like a so-called ‘cool dude’ seems a lot more adaptable than giving in to the heartbreak.
Alex and Anya were great friends. At one point, they were both freshly out of long-term relationships and became each other’s de facto support system. They started hanging out a lot, texting each other through the day, and partying together on weekends. While their changing feelings toward each other were palpable, both remained in denial. Until one day, a night of sharing a couple of bottles of wine led to a kiss.
Their relationship entered a rather murky territory afterward. Anya wanted to act on her feelings, Alex was still too scarred from his past heartbreak to even entertain the thought. After months of a push and pull dynamic, Anya decided to move on. It was only after he lost her that Alex realized how strongly he felt about her. For years, he tried to get back together with Anya. Even though she was single, she didn’t agree because she had seen how toxic a couple they could become.
In such cases, the reason for why guys feel the breakup later is that they’re in denial about the depth of their feelings for their partner. Alex most definitely didn’t want a relationship with Anya. By extension, it meant that he wanted to break up whatever it was that they had going on. So then, why do breakups hurt even when you wanted it? Mostly, because sometimes you don’t understand the value of what you have until it’s gone.
Related Reading: 18 Subtle Signs Your Long-Term Relationship Is Over
How do men deal with breakups?
If the ‘why do breakups hit guys harder?’ question has crossed your mind, then perhaps you have also wondered how a man deals with a breakup. Since different men have different personalities, they also react differently. Plus, moving on without closure isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
To be honest, guys take longer to process a breakup. Some may be quiet, some may socialize more. Maybe he learns to play the drums or dedicates more time to things he is passionate about. But to just give one answer that fits all men would be as inaccurate as saying breakups hit guys later in all circumstances.
What can be said, however, is that due to the conditioning men have, they end up trying to not seek help when they should. They ignore their support system when empathy is offered, often trying to appear cold and heartless. A guy’s behavior after a breakup can largely be controlled by what he wants other people to think of him.
William, a 30-year-old chartered accountant who is trying to cope with a sudden breakup in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend, says, “I can’t speak for every guy, but I know that breakups hit me months later. Just like the past breakups, this time also, I felt a cool breeze in my heart after the relationship was over.
“It was like a big weight got off my chest, I was free. I went for a hike, partied crazy for the first few weeks, and of course, revived the old Tinder account. A couple of hookups later, the first blow of the breakup hit me. I guess I was too proud to admit that after all these days, I can be affected by a breakup in my 30s.”
Believe it or not, guys feel sad after a breakup. But if he isn’t afraid of acknowledging his feelings, he’s going to make headway in the journey of healing. If he’s too worried about what others around him will think of him if he appears weak, his suppression may add a considerable amount of time to his healing.
Now that you have the answer to questions like “Why do guys regret breaking up with a girl later on?”, “Why do breakups hit guys later?” or “Do guys take longer to get over a breakup?”, you know what’s going on in his mind a bit better. If you know someone who’s struggling to cope with a breakup or if you’re going through a tough period yourself, Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists can help you paint a path toward recovery.